Journey Home Croatia – Calais 2016

Thursday 22nd September. After  final goodbyes to our group of friends that we had spent the last 30 days with on our  GB Motorhome Tour of Croatia it was time for us to set off for home. Some of the group chose to take a leisurely way back visiting some of Croatia’s beautiful Islands others left with our Tour Leaders for direct shortest  route home we opted to make our own way stopping off to visit places of interest, and avoiding toll motorways. It was a beautiful clear sunny morning and as we made our way along the stunning coastal road. Azure blue sea and sky, a backdrop of large and small islands, pretty coastal villages and mountains reaching down to the sea. We passed into Slovenia to an Aires at the Postjana Caves where we met up with Sue and Tony from our tour. The  Postojna Cave is a 24,340 m long karst cave system near Postojna, southwestern Slovenia. It is the second-longest cave system in the country as well as one of its top tourism sites. The caves were created by the Pivka River.

Friday 23rd Sunny. Set off from Caves on minor roads over the Julienne Alps, a very twisty narrow road with some big lorries and coaches! The road took us over  high mountains and through gorges then we climbed up to a mountain pass and through an old Border Control and  into Italy, before a long winding road downhill and into Austria. Now familiar Austrian scenery, Mountains, lush green pastures, beautiful cows  and pretty houses with flower filled window boxes. After a couple of not-so-good aires we found an excellent one at Kotschach in front of a restaurant and with good views of the mountains.

After a misty start we set off towards Italy. On route we came across an October Fest in Lienz with decorated tractors and young people in traditional costumes managed to park for a quick photo shot before crossing the border over the Bremmer Pass via the old road. We stopped for lunch under the Bremmer Viaduct to watch the bungee jumpers which was very entertaining! Then taking the minor roads we drove up and  over the Fern Pass stopping at the  viewpoint at the top to see the wonderful views of the mountains and  in particular the Zugspitze Mountain which has  an amazing cable car and restaurant on top. We visited there back in the eighties. Then on through Innsbruck to Fussen famous for its castles. 3 stellplatz all very full but we found a space to squeeze  into E16 a night including electric and good showers/toilettes

Sunday hot day. Motorway very busy and 2 hours stuck in traffic due to road works nr Stuttgart. Finally crossed Rhine at Rastatt and travelled on minor roads through picturesque villages with timbered buildings and pretty window boxes. Stopped at Maginot Line Defence Museum and then on to  a Tank  museum nr Hatton. we could have stayed here overnight but decided to carry on to an Aire at Birche Citadel.

Next morning decided to go cross country on quiet roads towards Verdun then got lost around Metz! very difficult to navigate. Rerouted back to Verdun and after lunch saw signs for a battle Memorial so decided to visit. Amazing place! Well worth a visit if you are in the area. Huge open air Museum including the destroyed village of Fleury with interesting historical plaques and an old chapel, a vast stone tower and a memorial hall with lots of information on the battle, overlooking the Verdun Battlefields. Also a very large war cemetery.

We would have liked longer here but still had a few miles to travel before our next night stopover. This was at one of  our favourites The Aires at Stenay. We walked into the little hill town hoping to find somewhere to eat but everywhere was closed being a Monday!

Tuesday 27th September Beautiful morning set off on interesting and picturesque minor roads across  country to St. Omer and the Aires at Arques which we used in the past when we had Midge with us as there is a good vet in St Omer.

Wednesday 28th After a peaceful night it was time to head for the ferry port for our homeward journey. By the time we reached home we had travelled a total of 3,380 miles.

We just had time to unload the van before reloading it, this time with Deans VW Notchback on a trailer for Arthur and Dean to drive up to Tamworth on the Friday for the start of the Edinburgh Classic Car Trial which they were competing in over the weekend.

The report of which you will find under Classic Trials Events.